Traditionally speaking.

by jamesjohnson92

I like to try and live in the present and the future simultaneously. I’m a big subscriber to the Buddhist way of thinking about living in the moment; being present and getting fulfilment out of my current situation – or dealing with it if I’m not. I’m not going to be shaving my head and raking my Zen garden any time soon, but it’s an outlook on life I enjoy.

But I also know when to plan for the future. Where I’d like to be, what I’d like to do, where I’d like to go. Things like this keep me ticking over, working towards a bigger picture for my life. (I’ve also noticed the question for me is never ‘How much will I earn? Money hasn’t ever really been something that excites me, or gives me a drive). Currently, my finite plans don’t extend past November 2014 – but I still like to have an idea of where I want to be in 5 years, and it still involves all you lovely readers out there.

I spend most of my time in these two areas of my life, with very little time spent on nostalgia. I like stories, telling them and reading them. I enjoy the occasional flick through my travelling photo albums, and talking about the time I saw The Courteeners in concert 5 times in one year. But it takes up very little of my time, and most of the lessons I learn and share are from the here and now. For me it’s not just about where I’ve been, it’s about where I’m going.

However, I do have a lot of time for tradition. The things I do repeatedly that keep my grounded and connected to the people I want to see and be around:

Granddad Day

Every Monday when I’m back at my home base in Manchester is ‘Granddad Day’. He’s pretty much my best mate, so he gets a whole day dedicated to him.

When I was 16 and started going to college, we used to get one day off a week. A Wednesday. It was supposed to be a ‘study day’, but funnily enough it that was never one of my priorities on that day. Go figure. So I took to going down to see my Granddad on my day off.  He had an abundance of chocolate in his draw, an endless supply of jokes and my Grandma to cook me dinner – it seemed an obvious choice.

Then when I left college and started working my free day became a Monday. So Instead of losing the day, I just moved it. 5 years later, it’s still going.

We sit down, talk about what’s going on in the news, share a few jokes (Him more than me), eat lunch together, and watch the horse racing. It’s one of the few long standing traditions I have, and one of the only reasons I want to go back to Manchester (Yes Grandad, you live in Salford – but I’m trying to hit a wide audience here!).

El New Years Day-o at El Rincon…o.

That’s Spanish for those of you who don’t speak it. Honest.

In Manchester there is a little tucked away tapas Restaurant called El Rincon. It’s down a little back alley, behind some trashcans (bins) and an old physiotherapy studio. You go through a creaky set of doors and down a set of steps in to this cream tiled, soccer shirt filled restaurant with an old wooden bar and two TV’s with Russian subtitles. It doesn’t look up to much, but by far it’s the best Tapas Restaurant I’ve ever been to.

4 years ago, I was tasked to arrange New Years Day for my best friends and me. I booked us Tickets to the Comedy Store in Manchester – the natural choice for someone as hilarious as myself – with a view to us all eating a hangover-fuelled dinner before hand, after a recommendation for this restaurant off one of my closest friends Trevor*.

The day comes around and two people are too hung over to attend, the other was struggling to take his girlfriends thumbprint off his head. So it ended up being me, Trevor and another friend. We sit we eat, we laugh and we drink. Like all friends should.

4 years, and a few friends later, me and Trevor still eat at El Rincon every new years day. Without fail.

Boxing Day at the Honey Bee

The final one of my Traditions is between my mum and I.  For my non-UK readers, Boxing Day is the day after Christmas – with very little boxing involved, except for a few Dads arguing over the last can of Stella Artois. It’s a public holiday full of shopping sales, hangovers and digestive discomfort.

My mum and I, we’re pretty alike – people drain us after a while and we need time away, or at least with less people. If Introversion is Genetic, she is whom I get it from.

So after all the drama of Christmas day, we head off up to a little secluded pub on the top of a hill somewhere in Cheshire. It’s got a big log fire, comfy chairs and the nicest desserts you’ll ever eat. We save a Christmas present back each and swap them at the table. We eat a roast dinner, get a little nostalgic and organise plans for the future. It’s probably even more favourable to me than Christmas Day nowadays.

What are your traditions?

I’m interested to know. What things in your life have been going on so long that you’d count them as a tradition? Who do you spend time with, joke around with, commit to every single year?

Let me know in the comments below!


*Not his real name, Changed it for protection purposes. Actually is the name of his Alter Ego though.